R. Kelly’s lawyer claimed that the R&B singer wasn’t aware of Aaliyah’s age when they married but an old video interview suggests otherwise.
In a recent interview with Good Morning America, Steven Greenberg, R. Kelly‘s lawyer, defended the singer and claimed that he never knowingly engaged in sexual acts with underage girls. Greenberg even went so far as to say Aaliyah lied about her age in order to go through with her marriage to Kelly and that he never knew she was underage.
However, an old video interview with Kelly that has recently resurfaced shows that he did know Aaliyah’s age at the time.
The footage, taken from a 1994 documentary, the same year the two married, finds Kelly talking about working with Aaliyah as the pair can be seen working on her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.
“Right now I’m producing a very talented young lady, she’s 14. Aaliyah, she’s real street,” he says. From there, he instructs her on a part of song before the scene transitions to him, Aaliyah and someone else going to a restaurant for food.
When Greenberg appeared on Good Morning America, he confirmed Kelly and Aaliyah’s marriage.
“He was married to her when she was 15. Elvis was married to Priscilla,” the lawyer said, referring to Elvis and Priscilla marrying when she was 16.
When challenged that 15 isn’t the legal age of consent, Greenberg said, “Right except my understanding is that she did not claim to be 15. And in order to get married she had to lie about her age.”
Following the resurfacing of the video where Kelly says Aaliyah’s age, Greenberg told TMZ he misspoke and never spoke about Aaliyah to Kelly specfically.
“That was 20 years ago. I didn’t know him 20 years ago, I didn’t represent him 20 years ago. And, I wasn’t invited to any wedding,” Greenberg said.
Last year, reporter Jim DeRogatis, the reporter who has pursued the sexual and physical abuse allegations against Kelly since 2000, discussed going through the documents related to Kelly and Aaliyah’s annulment.
“The annulment of the Aaliyah marriage and Aaliyah’s legal claim against him had been sealed in Detroit…they were sealed by the court but those documents were provided to me,” DeRogatis said. “It’s a harrowing document, a non-disclosure agreement on both her part and Kelly’s, vowing not to pursue further legal claims for physical abuse. So it wasn’t just an underage sexual relationship, he hit her, allegedly, according to that court document.”